April 12, 2018 07:00
Christopher Johnson, Matthew Préfontaine and Patrick Bouchard
New technologies bring about new challenges for entrepreneurs who want to open a brokerage firm in damage insurance.
With the advent of social networks and the rise growing of the Web, the conditions of successful brokerage firms in 2018 are different that there are a dozen years. Some elements can’t be ignored before starting a business.
Christopher Johnson founded AMR Assurances Multi-risques in 2007 at the age of 25 years. «Consumption habits are changing. It is important to be creative and agile to adapt «, he explains.
Now president of the Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Québec (RCCAQ), Mr. Johnson stressed the importance of a superb customer service. «There was almost no social networks ten years ago when I founded my firm. As a dealer, we sell confidence. Today, it is important to keep in mind that if you insured someone and he is not happy, he can now complain on Facebook. Your reputation can take a hit «, he adds.
Plural Insurance has seen the light of day in march 2017. Marjoram Moses, one of three of the firm’s partners, also recognizes the importance of the role of the Internet in the success of his business. Its use has helped the entrepreneur to build up its customer base in the region of Valleyfield.
«My colleagues and I were working for another firm in the region before we start a business. We were known as brokers. When the time came to make known the office, we leave at zero, with no client purchase. It has not been easy, she said. We went door-to-door and we have distributed pamphlets. We have invested in an Internet site soon enough, so people were able to find us easily. Same thing for the insurers who have searched our names on Google and have recognized our faces, as we were already known in the insurance industry. It has helped us to launch ! «
Use creativity to stand out
With the advent of insurance sales via the Internet in recent years, Matthew Préfontaine, president of M2 insurance, believes that it is more important now to stand out when starting a business. «How can a small broker who starts out of the lot with the coming of the robots of the Internet ? You need to get out of the box and be creative, » he insists.
With the bills 150 and 141, and changes the level of the segment of personal insurance, the contractor believes that in order to succeed in 2018, it is better to specialize. Having been immersed in the world of insurance since his youngest age, thanks to his father, who was also in the middle, Matthew wanted to ensure the skyscrapers when he was younger. Specialize has always been in its projects.
«The competitiveness is large, it is necessary to leave the niche. M2 insurance is one of the five firms specialized in trucking in Quebec, » says Préfontaine. The company now has 26 employees, with a volume of $ 16 million.
Patrick Bouchard, president of Bouchard & Associés, Solutions d’assurances, is of the same opinion. «To all those who wish to build a brokerage firm, it is better not to do it on a whim and be well prepared. Today, want to open a firm in damage insurance this is not the ideal. It is necessary to have an added value. Do you find a target audience and try to be the best in your field «, he advises.
Matthew Prefontaine also believes that customer service should be a priority for any person wishing to open a practice. «It is necessary to be more present and to redouble our efforts. It should never take the insured for granted. We want to keep them as long term customers. «
To make known and to build customer loyalty, Shawn Turcotte, president at CVB insurance, has chosen not to invest too much in advertising. «We relied on the social networks. We wanted people to talk about us. We also put the focus on service and speed. Our office is open on the week-ends and late at night. It has enabled us to pick up some clients of firms which them, were not open, » he says.
For Christopher Johnson, creativity is synonymous with adaptability. «To succeed in 2018, it is necessary to be ready to change his business plan almost instantly,» says the entrepreneur, who regrets not having invested in the Web site of the company in the first year. «Today, I have a blog where I publish one article per week. My 52 articles are already planned. It is always necessary to have a short-term, but also long term, » he says.